This 39th performance in the Journey of 100 was a house warming concert for Robert, Deborah and their friends. Before starting, I described my intention through the series of performances to more deeply explore the rapport between a Divine musical work, the listeners and me the performer. After hearing some of the audience’s response to the music I began to feel in awe of the potential Music has to open connections between us as people because it was clear that folks felt moved, seemingly more connected with themselves and with the composer’s spirit.
It has been over a year since performance #38 and to be honest, I have not missed the piece. Yet as I write this morning, I am totally enthused about getting back inside it for the performances coming up this week.
Last night I continued to explore the balance between creative freedom in the timing of the phrases and liberties with the rhythmic pulse (for example how far I might move away from a metronome’s steady beat), and sticking with pulse – the powerful framework in all of Johan Sebastian’s music. Towards the beginning of playing I felt self conscious at times that I was manipulating the phrases rather than responding to the inner guidance of the music.
Another aspect that I must rethink is how to handle the repeats written in each of the two sections of the Allemande, Corrente, Sarabande and Gigs (the first four movements) – generally I take the first repeat and not the second. I wonder if this is somehow undermining the long-form flow of the work because the Ciaconna (the last movement) is a simple flow of variations, with no repeats at all.